The following is a real story from a real family who was ministered to by Midland Fair Havens.
It Takes Time
Each family that participates in the Fair Havens program is affected differently by their experience. As our young single mothers seek to build a brighter future for their families, we see rapid change and almost instant success with some residents. But for others, that process simply takes time.
Two days after Mary* and her two young children moved into their apartment at Fair Havens, she discovered that she was pregnant. Feeling completely overwhelmed by her responsibilities, Mary told our case manager that she was going to leave the program because she felt unworthy. She admitted that she had made an appointment for an abortion that was to be paid for by the father of the unborn baby. It was evident that she was angry, resentful and deeply hurt.
Through compassionate counsel and prayer with our case manager, Mary agreed to seek guidance and support from a sister agency that assists unwed mothers and provides alternatives to abortion. Without leaving her new home, Mary went to that center and met with another Christian counselor who helped her to accept the new life as part of God’s plan for her family. After many emotional sessions at the center and with our case manager, she abandoned the idea of abortion.
With new resolve as a resident of Fair Havens, she turned her attention toward her education and began preparing herself to be able to provide for three children. Through all of the life skills training sessions, Mary absorbed useful information and began discovering many new things that helped her as a single mother.
But Mary continued to harbor anger. In her outward actions, she cooperated with the structure of the Fair Havens program, but inwardly she fought with accountability and relinquishing control to others. With a kind and helpful spirit, she developed close relationships with other residents as well as the staff. Mary always seemed to be willing to help others but neglected her own needs. Her children thrived in the stability and security of the Fair Havens program. Shortly after the new baby was born, her oldest son attended Vacation Bible School with the assistance of our children’s program coordinator. He came home sharing that he had accepted Jesus and that he wanted his mother to love Jesus too.
Mary had always been a faithful church member and was touched by her son’s decision but she struggled in her heart with the many tragedies of her past. Holding fast to resentment and anger, she was afraid to admit that she felt betrayed by God even while she faithfully attended church and participated in Bible studies. Under the direction of faithful and prayerful case management, Mary continued to attend school and work hard toward her independence, but she still lacked the inner peace she needed so desperately.
When her son asked if he could be baptized into the church, Mary agreed to attend the required classes along with him. They were baptized together a few months later. From that time on, Mary gradually began yielding her past along with her anger and disappointments into the hands of her Savior. Through small steps and some setbacks, Mary began to transform before our eyes! She changed her college major and began pursuing a degree in Christian studies in order to seek a career that would help other women to overcome hurtful relationships. The baby that she almost destroyed is a family favorite who brings immense joy to her heart.
Mary and her children moved out after living at Fair Havens for the full time allotted them but they continue to be part of our ‘family’. Her older children are active in church activities and remain participants in the Fair Havens tutoring program. Mary credits our Christ led patience and unconditional love for her as major factors in her families’ success. She claims that God used Fair Havens to expose her need for healing so that she could receive His love and find peace. While we all know Mary will have more life challenges to face in her future, we remain confident that the time she spent with us will continue to yield the fruits of success.
*Mary is a fictitious name used to protect the confidentiality of the actual client described in this story.